Monday, 31 January 2011

There has to be merit in a meritocracy

Have you ever asked yourself, if you were to enter Mastermind, what would be your specialist subject?
Mine would be fuse boxes.
But whatever you go for, there is a degree of fatuity about so many of the subjects that contestants choose.
How can I be impressed by someone who has devoted their entire recent life to learning every available fact about paving stones, for example?
Far more impressive is a credible performance in the general knowledge section where you are liable to be asked anything from aardvarks to zebras, astronomy to Zoroastrianism or from AA Gill to Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Scrabble competitions are no different.
Contestants study seemingly endless lists of words with the sole aim of scoring more points.
Personally, I just don't get the point.
To encourage education, wouldn't it be far better in Scrabble if you could challenge your opponent's knowledge of the word they've just played? If they don't know its definition, then instead of accruing points, they get deducted.
And therein lies a metaphor for life in Britain today.
Too many people are rewarded for being thick. They should be punished.
Except where it comes naturally.
Me? Why fuse boxes?
As a kid, I spent many a lesson in the school corridor.
How thick is that?
Thick of me. Thick of my teachers.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Sexism? Let's have some realism.

Before I do anything else, I'd like to put my cards on the table.
My first card is of the 'get well' variety.
Britain is sick. Parts of our society have become morally debased and for too long now we have failed to respond to ever-increasing doses of political correctness.
The next card I'd like to put on the table is a picture of Jimmy Johnstone, the ex-Celtic winger and Lisbon Lion.
I collected it as a boy. I was once a Celtic fan and remain an ardent football fan.
Sadly, football is where so much of our moral turpitude manifests itself.
And while there are many decent people who attend football matches, if I were a recruiting sergeant for boors, I can't think of a better place to go.
The next card is my driving licence.
I would personally like to chauffeur Andy Gray from the Sky studios should he need to return to collect a few personal effects. Just so long as he doesn't collect any more of his obscene £1.7 million salary.
And that's where the realism should come in.
As good as he might have been at his job, I fail to see how Sky could justify paying him even half that amount.
Never mind the salary cheque, I think Sky should take a reality check.
Yes, Andy Gray is a boor who escaped the terraces for the comfort of the studio and the even greater comfort that his salary provides.
Yes, the comments he made were crass in the extreme. But the reaction - which is yet another overdose of political correctness - was out of proportion almost on the same scale as his salary.
And yes, things will be a lot brighter without a Gray Sky.
But I still think we have missed an open goal.
Wouldn't it have been far better to fine him £150,000 (not much more than a month's salary) and donate that money to the people who are fighting sexism where it really exists?
As a centre forward, Andy Gray was undoubtedly great with the head. Maybe he should start using it again.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Thursday, 6 January 2011

I've stopped digging

When the time does come
All said and done
And six feet below I lie,
I hope it's asked
Not why I lived
But why I had to die.